So, I realized that the looms I made aren’t very practical for two reasons: the nails and the tension of the yarn.
The finishing nails I used in the first looms were 1-1/2″ long and poorly manufactured. Their heads were uneven, distorted and had spiky bits.
The yarn tension was something I hadn’t even thought about. I had reinforced the frame with L connectors, so the frame was okay. But as I wove, I realized that the nails were starting to wiggle. Not good! I had to nail them in even further, and I was starting to doubt that it was a good idea because of the previously mentioned nail head issue.
I had seen a lot of frame looms in store windows that were made out of MDF and not lumber, so I thought I would give it a try. I went to the hardware store and found square cuts of MDF and 1-1/4″ finishing nails. The heads were flawless!
The MDF square is 15mm (1/2″) thick and 20×20cm (8″x8″). I thought about cutting out a frame but decided against it. I marked the nails so that about 2 cm (3/4″) would be sticking out. That helped make the pegs even, not like my first looms . Oh, and the wonderful surprise was that I didn’t need to pre drill the holes. MDF does not split because it’s basically pressed cardboard and the fibers go in every direction.
The nails are placed every 1cm and there are 16 per side. I didn’t place a nail in the corners because I intended on making a potholder loom. I placed a nail on the edge of the MDF square to tie the yarn and voile, I was done! It took me about half an hour to finish the whole thing. Caveat: when you hammer the nail into the side, the MDF may open up a little, so be careful or pre drill the hole.
I tried out the new loom, and it is great. No problem with the tension or the nails. I’ll post my first woven potholder soon.
I’m planning on making a set of round looms with this technique and a bigger loom for larger squares. I’ll let you know how that goes.